Half Sheet Sander Punch Plate Help Needed - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-06-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Half Sheet Sander Punch Plate Help Needed

I was using a portable belt sander with the shop vac attached and noticed how excellent the dust collection was and wondered why it seemed to work better than my finish sander. I made a punch plate for my finish sander with 3/8" dowels that were sharpened, but noticed I'd get a few holes that would tear across the sander plate in use, also leaving some scratch swirls where the paper was uneven, and wanted to make one better.

I've tried 20 penny nails, but the holes seem to small and not much improvement on dust collection. Tried some 1/4" rod pieces that were sharpened and would still get the tear exceeding where the holes were. I'm not sure what to try out next. Feel like I'm making a big deal out of something simple. I wanted to try making a firmer plate on the bottom of the sander all together. I'm never going to use the velcro on the bottom anyways. I think something firmer, less squishy, would help with making better holes, but I don't know if that would cause some other problems.

Anyone know how to get better dust collection with a finish sander?
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-06-2018, 02:11 PM
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You might need the equivalent of a zero clearance backing plate. A plate with holes drilled in it the same pattern as the punch plate but slightly larger. Also, I think your punches need to be hollow.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-06-2018, 07:21 PM
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My ancient B&D 1/4 sheet sander had a separate punch plate that you trapped the new sheet of sandpaper in. It was two pieces of steel plate with indexed matching holes and you put the piece of sandpaper between them. Then you used a supplied paper punch to punch the holes in the sandpaper. My new Makita 1/4 sheet sander just has a plastic punch plate that indexes around the sander pad, so once you mount the paper, you punch the holes. This one looks a lot like your wooden one on the right side of the pictures. Both of these sanders have just a rubber pad, no velcro. I guess that's why random orbit sanders that have velcro pads always use prepunched sanding disks. I think I would prefer a sheet finishing sander to have a firm rubber backing plate rather than a velcro one.

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Last edited by Jim Frye; 01-06-2018 at 07:30 PM. Reason: added thought
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-07-2018, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I think a thin sheet of metal as a zero plate idea would help punch better holes. I'd also like to upgrade the foam/velcro bottom.
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